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Night of the Assassin: (Assassin Series Prequel) [Kindle Edition]

Russell Blake
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (546 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Night of the Assassin is the gritty, edge-of-your seat prequel to King of Swords. A no-holds-barred, breakneck-paced thriller, Night of the Assassin charts the early years of El Rey - the King of Swords - a super-assassin responsible for some of the world's most spectacular and daring executions.

Framed against the backdrop of present-day Mexico's brutal narco-trafficking violence, Night of the Assassin chronicles the making of a monster - a cold-blooded, ruthless killing machine. Raw, disturbing, edgy and unflinching, this epic saga defies convention to create a roller-coaster of intrigue, suspense and thrills that will leave even the most jaded thriller aficionados gasping for breath.


A Q & A for Night of the Assassin with bestselling author Russell Blake

Question: Night of the Assassin uses often bloody, shocking imagery. Why write the novel that way?

Russell Blake: I wanted to write a barreling, no-holds-barred Lamborghini of a book, with unexpected twists and turns that left you with your stomach in knots, afraid to turn off the lights. Mexico's drug war sees over eight thousand people dead every year from cartel violence that's savage and ruthless. I wanted to capture that lurid, blood-soaked reality and make it visceral, make it real for the reader, and also leave them feeling like they'd been through a disturbing, tangible experience. I used a variety of techniques to achieve that, and the evocative and shocking scenes are one of them. There are a few images that will have readers cringing and will cause nightmares, so this isn't for the faint of heart.

Q: Night of the Assassin is the prequel to King of Swords. Why write this after that novel was released?

RB: The villain of KOS is El Rey, the assassin who uses the tarot card, the King of Swords, as his signature. After I finished writing KOS, I couldn't get him out of my head, and I immediately started writing Night. It was like a compulsion, and I couldn't shake it. So I got it onto paper as immediately as I could, so I wouldn't lose the essence of the character. The result, I've been told, does KOS justice.

Q: Night of the Assassin is set in Mexico, as well as Australia. The descriptions are very vivid. Have you ever been there?

RB: I live in Mexico, so the descriptions better jump off the page. And I spent a lot of time knocking around Australia, so I'm more than passing familiar with all the locations in the book.

Q: What is your ideal reader like?

RB: My readers are intelligent, savvy, jaded, and demand a lot out of their thrillers. I write for those who have read all the big names, and I expect my work to be compared against the Forsyths and Ludlums of the world. I write my thrillers even faster-paced, so they'll show positively and leave a lasting impression. I grew up on Day of the Jackal and The Bourne trilogy, and that's the level I try to write to every page. Even though Night is a prequel, it's designed to knock readers' socks off from the first sentences.

Q: Some of the scenes are so graphic they make you wince. Have you gotten flack for that?

RB: I had a few readers say they were reading between their fingers as they hid their eyes. That tells me I did my job as a storyteller. I think good fiction should take you out of reality, and some of the scenes in Night will stay with you long after the book's done. The scenes are paced for specific effect, & I like how they wound up working.

Q: You use flashbacks in the early chapters of the book. Why use that technique?

RB: Sometimes you can allude to things in a character's past, but other times it's better to bring the reader to the event in order to make it more vivid. There were a few seminal events I felt needed to be memorialized as whole sections based in the past rather than discussed as part of the present. If you think of the book as a whole work as opposed to expecting a linear narrative it makes sense, and by the time you finish it you'll see the method to my madness.

Editorial Reviews


USA Today Bestselling Author

As Seen in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and The Times!

A sadistically good writer."
- The Kindle Book Review

"Russell Blake writes with a brisk intensity and pulse-pounding power. Jump in and hang on for a nonstop thrill ride." - Scott Nicholson, Liquid Fear

"Blake at his best!" - Steven Konkoly, Black Flagged Redux, Black Flagged, The Jakarta Pandemic

From the Author

I'm often asked about the right sequence to read the Assassin series. It's not as obvious as it sounds, so perhaps a little explanation is due.

Night of the Assassin is the prequel to King of Swords, which is the first novel in the series. When I wrote the series, I wrote King of Swords first, and then Night of the Assassin second. That's also the recommended reading sequence to get the absolute most enjoyment out of it, although certainly there's no harm done reading Night first. But Night was written to flesh out more of the central character's back story and the sequence of events that led to him being what he is, and as such, the events have more context in light of the unfolding of King. Still, you can't go wrong reading either book first.

The series runs as follows:

Night of the Assassin - Series prequel
King of Swords - Book 1
Revenge of  the Assassin - Book 2
Return of the Assassin - Book 3
Blood of the Assassin - Book 4

I plan at least two more installments before the series is finished, possibly three. Depends on how much more of El Rey's exploits require telling.

I should also warn readers that this series is gritty, and is an unflinching portrayal of the realities of the drug cartel violence in modern Mexico. As such, it's not for the faint of heart, so if you're looking for cozy mysteries wherein a spunky grandma puts clues together, this ain't it.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Russell Blake

Product Details

  • File Size: 354 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd (January 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006M5L5JC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,729 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A$$-Kicking Read April 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Never heard of Russell Blake or his work until I got this book. I got the book a month ago and today, Sunday, finally read it.Glad I had all day cause I couldn't put it down once I started. I absolutely love this story and I am already recommending the author and book to my friends. Russell Blake can flat-out write better than any of the big names I've read in the last 20 years. Every word...Every sentence...Every paragraph and chapter carries the story to its conclusion without a single expression wasted. Blake's style is vivid and intense.Looking for a great book free of marketing hype and big-name endorsements? You just found it! Read it and see if you don't agree(:-)
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal and Beautiful - A GREAT BOOK May 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Admittedly, I've never been a fan of books that involve drug lords, cartels, and exotic places. On the flip side, I can easily take up a seat, turn the lights down low and flip on an old "Miami Vice" episode (assuming it's still on somewhere in that thousand-channel wasteland we call TV). So when I began reading Russell Blake's "Night of the Assassin," I didn't know what to expect. All I can say is, I'm glad that I did.

This tantalizing thriller is a prequel to "King of Swords" (which I have yet to read, and most definitely will), and is an amazingly taut and telling origin story of "El Rey," the King of Swords. Blake goes to great lengths to immerse us in the rise of a trained assassin, giving us a unique look into his training and ascension as the world's most feared killer-for-hire.

"Night of the Assassin" is brutal and beautiful. Blake offers riveting and revealing details of the black world of the drug lords in the Colombian and Mexican cartels, showing us in-your-face violence, all the while writing with an uncommon flair that is exceptionally strong and fluid. I often found myself disgusted with the cruelty and the barbarism, but at the same time found myself utterly in awe of the author's style. It's a rare instance where one can be appalled by the material but so drawn by the writing one has no choice but to turn the page.

For those stirred by the grisly details of a frighteningly real underworld, "Night of the Assassin" delivers the straight goods. The more I read, the more fascinated I became. The book could be a textbook on the inner workings of the drug world, but a textbook that wildly entertains. I couldn't put it down. And for a guy who's never been a fan of this genre, well, that pretty much says it all. Highly, highly recommended.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reads November 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Superb reading tense graphic descriptions highly recommend Russell Blake is on a par with John Grissom and David Baldacci slow start building up top a fine crescendo
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read July 13, 2012
By Adam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read many books by Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, and Russell Blake is right up there in this thriller. I plan on reading all the Assassin series. I love the fact that I don't have to spend a fortune to read a great book.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just an Awesome Read July 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Facts woven with fiction beautifully. This guy should have an agent and be making lots of money. Can't fathom why he has to give it away. Been to Tijuana, been to Cozumel, don't think I want to go back after all the cartel killings down in that country. Sure as hell don't want to go back after reading this novel. Extremely well written.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative prequel February 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you like being inside the head of an assassin, read this book. The writing flows and the story is really interesting. I can't wait to download and read the next book in the series.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!! February 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gave a very good insight on how and why, the ASSASIN BECAME

Gave a very good insight into how and why the Assassin evolved. Fast paced and will keep you on the edge , waiting for his next move.ppl
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder and mayhem February 26, 2013
By Debwin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story is filled with action , blood, and guts! It was exciting and was a pretty quick read if your in the mood for the darker side of humanity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I haven't read yet
Published 3 hours ago by Ivy Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Chosen Profession
This is a Suspense/Thriller

This story gives the background on El Rey aka The King of Swords. Read more
Published 1 day ago by You can call me Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
Fast paced action thriller. Loved it.
Published 3 days ago by Relaxin Max
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT PREQUEL !!!
Should be read first if you have not read any of Blake's Assassin series. You don't want to put it down.
Published 4 days ago by Brian M. Romer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment
Like his Jet series, the Assassin series is good escape reading. Russell Blake obviously studied the old movie serials where the hero is escapes from one death defying event only... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Tom Standard
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is intense
From the moment I began this book I could not stop turning pages. The story and the details of the book are exceptional. I can't wait to read more of these books.
Published 6 days ago by K. P
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read
Published 8 days ago by Kiki
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Non stop action. This writer went to school on Clancy,Brown, and Rosenburg. Great storyline and right to the point dialogue.
Published 9 days ago by David Zupofska
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
Blake's series of books about "El Rey" are fascinating. His style of writing leaves no gaps in the storyline and allows him to bring the characters to life. Read more
Published 20 days ago by KOBAM
3.0 out of 5 stars a most interesting prelude
Blake fills the pages with action and characters that come to life in scenarios almost no one can fathom. Read more
Published 21 days ago by CD Chaffin
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More About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty-five novels, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, Requiem for the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET - Ops Files: Terror Alert, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII - Sanctuary, JET VIII - Survival, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, BLACK To Reality, and Deadly Calm.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake is co-author of The Eye of Heaven and The Solomon Curse, with legendary author Clive Cussler. Blake's novel King of Swords has been translated into German by Amazon Crossing, The Voynich Cypher into Bulgarian, and his JET novel into Spanish, German, and Czech.

Blake writes under the moniker R.E. Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres. Novels include Less Than Nothing, More Than Anything, and Best Of Everything.

Having resided in Mexico for a dozen years, Blake enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog:

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